Tuesday, 9 December 2014

From GregB - 20mm WW2 Soviet Rifle Platoon (56 Points)

1/72 WW2 Russians from Plastic Soldier Company
Here is my first entry for the Painting Challenge - a completed rifle WW2 Soviet rifle platoon.  The figures are all from Plastic Soldier Company's 1/72 range.  Some of these were painted prior to the Challenge, but the balance were whipped up over the weekend.

Officers on hex-shaped bases
I have painted a lot of WW2 stuff over the years, but 20mm is all new for me and I'm finding I quite enjoy it.  It is, as Curt and others have expressed, a great "compromise" scale between 15mm and 28mm. I don't think these PSC plastics are the best figures out there - some of the poses look a little odd, more "possible" than "natural", if that makes sense - but I was pleasantly surprised by the detail on them, and you get quite a few figures in each box.  I have enough for a rifle platoon, and I still have a bunch of extra fellows with SMGs to finish up. A good value, and a good way to get started painting a new scale.

NCO on a square base with rounded corners

There are enough figures here to represent a rifle platoon - three 10-man squads, each sporting a 2-man LMG team - and a couple of officers.  The basing will be familiar to anyone here who has followed Curt's system - 20mm rounds for the regular fellows, 20mm squares for NCOs and junior leaders, and 25mm hexes for the senior officers/commanders.  Having the different bases makes it a little easier to determine which figures represent leaders at a glance, important in gaming systems like "Chain of Command".

Ready to defend the Motherland!
My only complaint with these figures is the poses chosen for the LMG gunners - prone (and PSC is hardly the only ones doing this - it is very common).  I know lying prone is a very realistic portrayal and something that happened a lot/all the time in real fighting, but in toy soldier fighting, prone figures are lame, particularly at 20mm scale and above. Prone figures require alternate basing, often much large than others and looking out of sorts compared with the rest of the fellows in the unit.  Every time a prone figure is cast in 20mm scale or larger, I'm pretty sure a baby whale gets kicked.  The only prone figures on a table should be snipers!

PSC figures were surprising with the amount of nice detail for plastic figures; much better than their 15mm size figures
Of course, for skirmish gaming, the only worse sculpt than prone is marching - and sadly, the PSC alternative to the prone LMG team is a pair of fellows marching along like they are having a jolly time.  Again, PSC is not the only one that does this. The marching figures look even more out of place on the table, so they went into the spares bin, while the prone figures got the paint.

20mm has been a lot of fun to paint so far, and I'm looking forward to adding more 20mm WW2 stuff during the Challenge and beyond.

There are 26 figures and 3 MG teams here, but 13 figures and two of the MG teams were painted prior to the Challenge starting, so on whole I think this net of 13 figures and one prone MG team in 20mm should get me 56 points.  

From Curt: Whoa, beautiful work Greg! These Soviet lads are top notch. Your shading on them is very smooth and the basing looks spot on. I've seen some the PSC stuff in other forums and I think I'll have to try some of them out. Nonetheless, I do have some old SHQ German Fallshirmjaegers on the painting desk and when they're finished we'll have to get together for a rumble. 
(As an aside, I always love hearing Greg go off on prone figures. The topic is usually good for about 10 minutes of his very funny, expletive-ridden philosophy of how toy soldiers should look - what you've read above is a much more abbreviated (and cleaner version) of his usual diatribe. I swear if I handed him a hammer in the midst of one of these rants he'd flatten every prone figure in his collection. Here get this: 'Hey Greg, you're a complete tw@t about this 'cause prone figures are not only realistic, but they provide some much-needed variation to the typical upright poses AND you don't have to paint as much as half of them are belly-to-the-base.  And, c'mon, look at them, they're just plain cool: lyin' down and takin' up space n' stuff.' 
There, that should set him off...  Really, what are friends for?)

From DaveD - Return to the Desert Sands: 42nd Highlanders (190 Points)

The primary aim for this years challenge is the Imperial forces for the Sudan. With such an interesting mix of units there are plenty of interesting battalions and regiments to choose from. So first up it's a proper "grand manner" size unit of 36 foot (mind they can be up to 72 figures)  and a mounted commander. These are old school 28mm Connoisseur Miniatures sculpted by the late Peter Gilder and are among my very favourites to paint , even the tartan! They are quick and easy without too much fussy detail, and reward an old school wash and wipe using enamels for the base colours. Nice to get one of the tartan wearing units out of the way early. I have the Gordon's to complete too, but Perry miniatures for those so it will be interesting to compare them when they are done.

1 figure was completed pre challenge while working out a painting plan in advance



Well I can't leave Clint and Phil to the fezzes.. So here is a British commander as well complete with Fez or is it a tarboosh... Nah it's a Fez..

Connoisseur British Officer,in Fez

Cavalry or infantry next..maybe both..maybe some camels...must be time for camels to make an appearance in the challenge soon. The paint desk is awash with khaki.

From Curt:

What a stonking unit of Jocks - and our first Points Bomb! Wonderful work Dave. They look excellent all massed in line, heading off to some hot, uncomfortable fate. If you can, update your entry with a couple close-ups as I'm sure I'm not alone in wanting to better see these Sons of Scotland in all their kilted glory. Also, I really like the officer sporting the fez - I'm sure he special ordered it at Harrods...  ;OP 

I look forward to the upcoming Gordons (or camels)!

From TeemuL - Starting with a Ringwraith (5 Points)

Lord of the Rings and Ringwraiths seem to be quite popular this year. I wanted to have something ready quite soon and because I happened to have an unpainted Ringwraith I decided to start with him. Of course I was not able to finish my pre-challenge miniatures before the challenge started, so I didn't get the start I hoped for. Window renovation project at home didn't much help with my schedules, the place is still a little bit of chaos and the fact that there is pretty much no sunlight available, makes taking photos rather difficult.

I was supposed to paint rank-and-file troops to get lots of models painted and gather lots of points, but it seems I need to start small and slow. I have started to paint my bonus theme figure, I need to get it painted in order to get the bonus points, otherwise I'm in big trouble. This is also my first time with Blogger, first time with this Challenge and so on... But enough of this, here's one of the Nine (even this finished, I only have eight...):

Anyway, I wanted to get my first points and open the challenge from my part, especially when I know there are not one, but two Christmas Parties during the next weekend... So there won't be much ready for a while.

The painting is quite simple, lots of black and some metal. But it was not, I recently read "How to Paint Citadel Miniatures" book from 2003. I can now say with confident that I have used various techniques such as drybrushing, extreme highlights, some layering, overbrushing and staining to name a few.

One 28mm model, that's 5 points to start the Challenge.

From Curt:
Welcome aboard Teemu! It looks like we're having a bumper crop of ringwraiths this year! It's too bad that this particular figure coincided with your lighting issues as we can't really enjoy your paintwork to its full advantage. He is cloaked in black, he has a morgul-blade and he is menacing so we're all good (or doomed). Nonetheless, it's great to have you out of the starting blocks and heading down the straights - once the dust has settled leading into the holiday season I'm sure your pace, along with everyone else's, will increase to a blistering tempo. :) Well done.

From MilesR: 28mm Scale WW1 Rolls Royce Armored Car (15 Points)

Submission #4 is a 28mm Scale Rolls Royce Armored Car from TrenchWorx.  I picked up this kit (along with way too many others) from a Kickstarter that was recently run by the Trenchworx guys.  These models are resin casts  made from 3D printed masters.  Both the details and casting quality are amazing and I highly recommend their products.

This particular model was painted up in a fairly generic way and has no nationality markerings.  I'll be using it for inter-war pulp (skirmish) gaming and it may even see it's way into a Bolt Action game or two.

The stowage in the back are custom cast by your's truly and are hold overs from my model railroading days.  They're actually HO scale (1/87) but seem to look good in a 28mm (or 1/56) scale vehicle.  The casting are pretty horrid and only work where I can hide some aspects of them.  One of the great benefits of the Challenge is it does force one to use old inventories of modeling supplies!

You can see in the background one of my next projects for the Challenge - a 36 figure Napoleonic French infantry battalion (Perry plastics).  After doing loads of American Civil War figures, I forgot how intricate Nappy uniforms are.

I think the Rolls Royce Armored Car should net me 15 points towards my tally!

From Curt:

Beautiful work Miles on one of the most elegant armoured cars of the period. I too just received my parcel from the Trenchworx Kickstarter and hope to have at least one of their models up for the Challenge in the coming months. I agree with you: the quality and detail of the models is really top-notch. I fiddled about and did some dry-fitting of the models and everything fit together seamlessly - very impressive. My only caveat to the models is their price, which is a bit eye-watering. 

In regards to your Rolls I love the base sand colour you went with as it really helps to make the rivets, plate-seams and creases pop. I also really like the stowage you added as it really adds character to the model. My only suggestion would be to dirty up the tires, undercarriage and running boards, as from seeing photos from the period, these buggies would get incredibly filthy in the field. 
Top shelf stuff Miles! 

From GillesW - Unity through paint! (20 Points)

Firstly as last year, I chose to pay the entry fee.

I went to my lead pile and took the assassin from the Lead Adventure range and a base from Micro Art Studio with an idea in mind reworking his face to have a plain mask to fake the logo of the Vth challenge.

I hope it will give the feeling I searched.

An Anti hero hiding in the shadows of the underground.

A back view of him returning in the shadows.

The first time I tried a blue grey and black style any comment will be appreciated.

Be seeing you.

Gilles "thefrenchjester"

From Curt:
Ahh, wonderful work Gilles! I love how his mask shines out from the greyscale background - an excellent effect. And the face, did you sculpt that yourself? It turned out brilliantly. Thank you so much for the wonderful figure.